2Chapter ObjectivesTo explain how corporate and country characteristics influence an MNC’s cost of capital;To explain why there are differences in the costs of capital across countries; andTo explain how corporate and country characteristics are considered by an MNC when it establishes its capital structure.
3Cost of CapitalA firm’s capital consists of equity (retained earnings and funds obtained by issuing stock) and debt (borrowed funds).The cost of equity reflects an opportunity cost, while the cost of debt is reflected in interest expenses.Firms want a capital structure that will minimize their cost of capital, and hence the required rate of return on projects.
4kc = ( D ) kd ( 1 _ t ) + ( E ) ke Cost of Capital A firm’s weighted average cost of capitalkc = ( D ) kd ( 1 _ t ) ( E ) keD + E D + Ewhere D is the amount of debt of the firmE is the equity of the firmkd is the before-tax cost of its debtt is the corporate tax rateke is the cost of financing with equity
5Cost of CapitalThe interest payments on debt are tax deductible. However, as interest expenses increase, the probability of bankruptcy will increase too.It is favorable to increase the use of debt financing until the point at which the bankruptcy probability becomes large enough to offset the tax advantage of using debt.
6Cost of CapitalDebt’s TradeoffCost of CapitalDebt Ratio
7Cost of Capital for MNCs The cost of capital for MNCs may differ from that for domestic firms because of the following differences.Size of Firm. Because of their size, MNCs are often given preferential treatment by creditors. They can usually achieve smaller per unit flotation costs too.
8Cost of Capital for MNCs Acess to International Capital Markets. MNCs are normally able to obtain funds through international capital markets, where the cost of funds may be lower.International Diversification. M NCs may have more stable cash inflows due to international diversification, such that their probability of bankruptcy may be lower.
9Cost of Capital for MNCs Exposure to Exchange Rate Risk. MNCs may be more exposed to exchange rate fluctuations, such that their cash flows may be more uncertain and their probability of bankruptcy higher.Exposure to Country Risk. M NCs that have a higher percentage of assets invested in foreign countries are more exposed to country risk.
10Cost of Capital for MNCs Possible access to low-cost foreign financingPreferential treatment from creditorsGreater access to international capital marketsLarger sizeInternational diversificationExposure to exchange rate riskExposure to country riskCost of capitalProbability of bankruptcy
11Cost of Capital for MNCs The capital asset pricing model (CAPM) can be used to assess how the required rates of return of MNCs differ from those of purely domestic firms.According to CAPM, ke = Rf + b (Rm – Rf )where ke = the required return on a stockRf = risk-free rate of returnRm = market returnb = the beta of the stock
12Cost of Capital for MNCs A stock’s beta represents the sensitivity of the stock’s returns to market returns, just as a project’s beta represents the sensitivity of the project’s cash flows to market conditions.The lower a project’s beta, the lower its systematic risk, and the lower its required rate of return, if its unsystematic risk can be diversified away.
13Cost of Capital for MNCs An MNC that increases its foreign sales may be able to reduce its stock’s beta, and hence the return required by investors. This translates into a lower overall cost of capital.However, MNCs may consider unsystematic risk as an important factor when determining a foreign project’s required rate of return.
14Cost of Capital for MNCs Hence, we cannot be certain if an MNC will have a lower cost of capital than a purely domestic firm in the same industry.
15Costs of Capital Across Countries The cost of capital may vary across countries, such that:MNCs based in some countries may have a competitive advantage over others;MNCs may be able to adjust their international operations and sources of funds to capitalize on the differences; andMNCs based in some countries may have a more debt-intensive capital structure.
16Costs of Capital Across Countries The cost of debt to a firm is primarily determined by the prevailing risk-free interest rate of the borrowed currency and the risk premium required by creditors.The risk-free rate is determined by the interaction of the supply and demand for funds. It may vary due to different tax laws, demographics, monetary policies, and economic conditions.
17Costs of Capital Across Countries The risk premium compensates creditors for the risk that the borrower may be unable to meet its payment obligations.The risk premium may vary due to different economic conditions, relationships between corporations and creditors, government intervention, and degrees of financial leverage.
18Costs of Capital Across Countries Although the cost of debt may vary across countries, there is some positive correlation among country cost-of-debt levels over time.
19Costs of Capital Across Countries CanadaU.S.GermanyJapanCosts of Debt (%)
20Costs of Capital Across Countries A country’s cost of equity represents an opportunity cost – what the shareholders could have earned on investments with similar risk if the equity funds had been distributed to them.The return on equity can be measured by the risk-free interest rate plus a premium that reflects the risk of the firm.
21Costs of Capital Across Countries A country’s cost of equity can also be estimated by applying the price/earnings multiple to a given stream of earnings.A high price/earnings multiple implies that the firm receives a high price when selling new stock for a given level of earnings. So, the cost of equity financing is low.
22Costs of Capital Across Countries The costs of debt and equity can be combined, using the relative proportions of debt and equity as weights, to derive an overall cost of capital.
23Online Application For country-specific information, visit:
24Using the Cost of Capital for Assessing Foreign Projects Foreign projects may have risk levels different from that of the MNC, such that the MNC’s weighted average cost of capital (WACC) may not be the appropriate required rate of return.There are various ways to account for this risk differential in the capital budgeting process.
25Using the Cost of Capital for Assessing Foreign Projects Derive NPVs based on the WACC.The probability distribution of NPVs can be computed to determine the probability that the foreign project will generate a return that is at least equal to the firm’s WACC.Adjust the WACC for the risk differential.The MNC may estimate the cost of equity and the after-tax cost of debt of the funds needed to finance the project.
26The MNC’s Capital Structure Decision The overall capital structure of an MNC is essentially a combination of the capital structures of the parent body and its subsidiaries.The capital structure decision involves the choice of debt versus equity financing, and is influenced by both corporate and country characteristics.
27The MNC’s Capital Structure Decision Corporate CharacteristicsStability of cash flows. MNCs with more stable cash flows can handle more debt.Credit risk. MNCs that have lower credit risk have more access to credit.Access to retained earnings. Profitable MNCs and MNCs with less growth may be able to finance most of their investment with retained earnings.
28The MNC’s Capital Structure Decision Corporate CharacteristicsGuarantees on debt. If the parent backs the subsidiary’s debt, the subsidiary may be able to borrow more.Agency problems. Host country shareholders may monitor a subsidiary, though not from the parent’s perspective.
29The MNC’s Capital Structure Decision Country CharacteristicsStock restrictions. MNCs in countries where investors have less investment opportunities may be able to raise equity at a lower cost.Interest rates. MNCs may be able to obtain loanable funds (debt) at a lower cost in some countries.
30The MNC’s Capital Structure Decision Country CharacteristicsStrength of currencies. MNCs tend to borrow the host country currency if they expect it to weaken, so as to reduce their exposure to exchange rate risk.Country risk. If the host government is likely to block funds or confiscate assets, the subsidiary may prefer debt financing.
31The MNC’s Capital Structure Decision Country CharacteristicsTax laws. MNCs may use more local debt financing if the local tax rates (corporate tax rate, withholding tax rate, etc.) are higher.
32Interaction Between Subsidiary and Parent Financing Decisions Increased debt financing by the subsidiaryA larger amount of internal funds may be available to the parent.The need for debt financing by the parent may be reduced.The revised composition of debt financing may affect the interest charged on debt as well as the MNC’s overall exposure to exchange rate risk.
33Interaction Between Subsidiary and Parent Financing Decisions Reduced debt financing by the subsidiaryA smaller amount of internal funds may be available to the parent.The need for debt financing by the parent may be increased.The revised composition of debt financing may affect the interest charged on debt as well as the MNC’s overall exposure to exchange rate risk.
34Interaction Between Subsidiary and Parent Financing Decisions Amount of Internal Amount ofLocal Debt Funds DebtHost Country Financed by Available FinancedConditions Subsidiary to Parent by ParentHigher Country Risk Higher Higher LowerLower Interest Rates Higher Higher LowerExpected Weakness Higher Higher Lowerof Local CurrencyBlockage of Funds Higher Higher LowerHigher Taxes Higher Higher Lower
35Using a Target Capital Structure on a Local versus Global Basis An MNC may deviate from its “local” target capital structure as necessitated by local conditions.However, the proportions of debt and equity financing in one subsidiary may be adjusted to offset an abnormal degree of financial leverage in another subsidiary.Hence, the MNC may still achieve its “global” target capital structure.
36Using a Target Capital Structure on a Local versus Global Basis Note that a capital structure revision may result in a higher cost of capital.Hence, an unusually high or low degree of financial leverage should only be adopted if the benefits outweigh the overall costs.
37Using a Target Capital Structure on a Local versus Global Basis The volumes of debt and equity issued in financial markets vary across countries, indicating that firms in some countries (such as Japan) have a higher degree of financial leverage on average.However, conditions may change over time. In Germany for example, firms are shifting from local bank loans to the use of debt security and equity markets.
38Impact of Multinational Capital Structure Decisions on an MNC’s Value E (CFj,t ) = expected cash flows in currency j to be received by the U.S. parent at the end of period tE (ERj,t ) = expected exchange rate at which currency j can be converted to dollars at the end of period tk = weighted average cost of capital of the parentParent’s Capital Structure Decisions
39Chapter Review Introduction to the Cost of Capital Comparing the Costs of Equity and DebtCost of Capital for MNCsSize of FirmAccess to International Capital MarketsInternational DiversificationExposure to Exchange Rate RiskExposure to Country Risk
40Chapter Review Cost of Capital for MNCs … continued Cost of Capital Comparison Using the CAPMImplications of the CAPM for an MNC’s Risk
41Chapter Review Costs of Capital Across Countries Country Differences in the Cost of DebtCountry Differences in the Cost of EquityCombining the Costs of Debt and EquityUsing the Cost of Capital for Assessing Foreign ProjectsDerive NPVs Based on the WACCAdjust the WACC for the Risk Differential
42Chapter Review The MNC’s Capital Structure Decision Influence of Corporate CharacteristicsInfluence of Country CharacteristicsInteraction Between Subsidiary and Parent Financing DecisionsImpact of Increased Debt Financing by the SubsidiaryImpact of Reduced Debt Financing by the Subsidiary
43Chapter ReviewUsing a Target Capital Structure on a Local versus Global BasisOffsetting a Subsidiary’s Abnormal Degree of Financial LeverageLimitations of OffsetsDifferences in Financing Tendencies Among CountriesImpact of Capital Structure Decisions on an MNC’s Value